tv Larry King Live CNN February 1, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EST
long-term. cnn is going to continue to report on what is happening here on the ground in haiti. every new hero we report, they are going to keep telling their stories. for all of the heroes back home, thanks for watching. >> larry: tonight, the heroes of haiti need help. orphaned, injured, desperate for bare necessities, they are targets for enslavement. can these children be protected? actor, activist sean penn joins us from port-au-prince.
we'll give you all the information you'll need to help or even adopt these innocent kids. it's next on "larry king live." >> larry: our subject tonight is children, there's nothing more important than that, the children of haiti. first, let's check in with ivan watson, our cnn correspondent in port-au-prince. we understand there was some drama earlier today involving children at the airport on a plane. what happened? >> reporter: we're still trying to get to the bottom of this, larry. basically, there was a plane. it was involving a group called the utah hospital task force. and we believe that it took off with about 69 orphans, headed for miami. some of the children that were
being placed on board that plane, there appears to have been some mix-ups, about 16 of them actually had to be taken off and were not allowed to go and some confusion about just where and how they should be going and traveling. a lot of bureaucracy to sort through, especially on this adoption issue, larry. >> larry: and we're going to deal with it at length. is it getting any better, ivan? >> reporter: there are signs of improvement. you know, the initial adrenaline and fear and agony and terror of those first days has subsided now. but now it's this really grueling struggle to just get by. i just went to camp today, and what's remarkable, larry, is seeing the 4,500 people living in this camp, now start to build shelters, not just out of sheets and sticks, but they're putting together plywood, they're salvaging pieces of sheet metal, and they're building little huts and also forming associations to try to organize, you know, where to put the bathrooms in these areas, how to distribute water there. but they're saying they're really scared that if the rains come, larry, they're just going to be washed away and this will be a breeding grounds for all sorts of diseases. they're desperate for tents right now, larry.
>> larry: ivan watson, our cnn correspondent on the scene in port-au-prince. joining us now, sean penn, the academy award-winning actor and activist, and cofounder of the jenkins-penn hatian relief organization. sean is in port-au-prince. joining us here in los angeles is entrepreneur diana jenkins. she lived in a refugee camp in bosnia and has spent the past decade helping to rebuild that country. sean, our focus tonight is children. what's your impression of what you've seen so far, the children of haiti? >> well, it's a country of people that i think have been bullied by god in ways that are unimaginable, for so many years. and in many ways, very new to me, it's my first time here. there's -- the focus on children also has to be a focus on their parents, those that have parents. orphanages are going to be needed, of course, as your parents were in the home and the
child was outside and a child just left on the street. and that's true in tens of thousands. but also, because of its history, the children, the adults, everyone here has such a moving stoicism. there are people who are so strong and so beautiful and so courageous that it's -- they're just so necessary to protect. we need people like this in the world. >> larry: diana jenkins, you grew up in a bosnian refugee camp and you've seen the refugee camps in haiti. are they similar? >> well, i didn't -- i grew up in bosnia, and during the war, i escaped. and then after, i lived in refugee camps. >> larry: okay. >> it's different, because this is the first time that i've seen an army that is helping people in disaster and they're doing a great job, but the conditions are just unbearable. they're worse than anything i've ever seen.
>> larry: worse than anything? >> anything i've ever seen, these camps. i went -- i visited a camp, just 50,000 people, and we went through the tents. and every single child has some kind of injury, infection or broken bone. >> larry: sean, specifically, what does your organization, jenkins-penn hatian relief, do? >> well, we were formed very spontaneously. i and a couple of friends were going to come down a couple of days after the quake, and i ran into diana, and she said, no, don't do it like that, and she came in and fully funded a major operation. so i was able to go to allison thomson and oscar gubnatty and other volunteers, and we were, with diana, able to put together what are now rotations of approximately 30 doctors in our base camp. every night, we've administered about 7,000 patients. we have a water expert that's going out and distributing at this point 1,000 filters and another 3,000 on the way. we've worked very closely with
colonel mike foster and sergeant keith horn, who have been -- who are truly exceptional men in the 82nd airborne. and it has been such an experience working with these people. and we've got the doctors in our group are tirelessly going out on what they call tailgating strikes with the military, where they go into camps, approximately six doctors at a time in the morning. we also do -- we have a trauma specialist who goes out and gathers enormous groups of children in the camps. we've targeted two camps in particular at this point. one camp which borders the
military base and our base camp on the perimeter. and then also we have a kind of satellite camp that we're able, with the size of our organization is now, to administer food distribution. so we did our first food distribution the other day to 1,800 people at the st. teresa camp. but what we're doing is we're trying to be very fluid and respond to a crisis that's almost un-respondable to. when we left, i heard some very silly woman who said something, well, it's got to be covered, you know, all of those organizations are in there. well, it's not covered at all. and the most dangerous thing is when you get into the practical reality, for example, for the military is when they call it second phase. and they do have to do that, because it's a kind of triage sensibility. but second phase starts to turn a lot of the attention away. the first phase, of course, are the immediate surgical needs, the immediate broken bones. then it's the follow-up care.
and what we're seeing now is a lot of cases of gangrene, a lot of cases of the wrong sorts of casts put on. and then all kinds of other follow-up things that are happening. and when the rains do start, i think that you can anticipate devastations on levels that none of us have ever seen. >> larry: we'll take a break. we'll ask diana what she sees as the single greatest need for the children. we'll also meet kent page, senior communications officer for unicef. we'll be right back. at the end of the day in sitka, alaska, everyone awaits the return of the fishing boats. their safe arrival is highly anticipated. as is something else. a shipment of natural sea salt from cargill, essential for preserving the catch. we deliver the salt on precise schedules and ship it efficiently all along the alaskan coast. saving the fishermen money and their catch. this is how cargill works with customers.
>> larry: sean penn remains with us. so does diana jenkins. joining us is kent page, senior communications officer for unicef. their website, by the way, is unicef.org. christiane amanpour interviewed the prime minister of haiti earlier this week, asked him about the exploitation of the earthquake's youngest victims. watch. >> do you know for sure that children are being trafficked now? >> there are children being trafficked. and also guns. >> no, but live children. are they being trafficked now? >> in a report i received, yes. >> so how are you going to -- who's helping you to stop this, to deal with this? >> mainly, i'm trying to work with the ambassadors. any child that is leaving the country has to be validated by the embassy. and the first thing, they have to confirm to me that they were already confirmed -- >> adoption papers were legal
and in -- >> even if all the process was not completed, but there should be on the processes and normally they should have been in an orphanage and we know them and we know that they have no parents right now. >> larry: you were saying, telling me, diana, how important the americans, the american army has been. >> 'cause i, in bosnia, i associated army with killing, and in my life, they came too late, because i lost everything. but when i got to haiti and i've seen what american army has done, all i can say is, god bless america and american army, because they work so hard. and the only sense of order that is there, i think it's them. and they are trying so hard to help, to distribute, to do anything they can to help these people. >> larry: kent, besides orphans,
how many kids do we know have been separated from their families? >> well, the issue of children separated from their families or unaccompanied because of the earthquake is something that we're very concerned with here at unicef. we're working together with all our partners to identify and register the children that may be unaccompanied and separated. we are referring them, if they are injured or need urgent medical care, to hospitals. they are also being referred to interim care shelters, where they are provided a safe and protective environment. we've brought recreation kits, education kits. we also have at one of the shelters a psychosocial counselor, who conducts psychosocial activities with the children. and most importantly, they're in a safe, protective environment. and then the family tracing and family reunification program will begin. at this time, we don't know how many children are separated from their parents, but with the government estimating there's more than 150,000 people killed in this earthquake, one can
assume that it's in the thousands. >> larry: sean, what happens when this story, as with all stories, what happens when it begins to fade? when other stories come in and the media is not there every day. what happens to the kids? >> well, larry, i got an e-mail from your dr. sanjay gupta when he had heard that i was coming in. and he put it in a great way. he said, awful, indelible, fixable. and it's only going to be fixable if we keep our eye on it. as diana was saying, you know, it's an extraordinary thing to see an army having an agenda of peace. and they do it with such incredible intentions and i think the other thing that's really important, and i want to use a quick example, is when we went in to do food distribution, one saw in two days of planning, and the change that happened after the first day of it and so on, these people are so resilient and so able to take care of themselves, but this
devastated city, it's too much for anyone. so it's going to take a very long time. and it's -- i think that it should be, it should be the central bar of nobility in human kind right now that we stay with this and that the american people support, as long as possible, the american -- i would like to tell all my lefty friends out there, these guys are doing an amazing job. and they're doing it with the greatest intentions in heart. in conjunction with all of the other organizations, it's an amazing amount of cooperation. and so, i think, if we can't call it fixable, then all the rest of us are failures. and then america's a failure. >> larry: well said. well said, sean.
>> this is the way to do it. >> larry: diana, how do people get more information on jenkins-penn hatian relief? >> we're going to set up the website very soon and everything is going to be on that website. >> larry: until then, you can contact our website and we put people who contact us in contact with you. >> thank you. >> larry: are you optimistic? >> i am, because i have seen the best of human race in action there. the people, the doctors are willing to do anything, the people are willing to donate the army at its best, i've seen everything at its best trying to help, what's worst happening. >> larry: we're going to get into the topic of exploitation. kent page will remain with us and three other experts will join us. we thank diana jenkins and sean penn and salute you for the great work you're doing and we'll be right back.
>> larry: we're back. still with us is kent page, senior communication officer with unicef. joining us from port-au-prince as well is annie foster, emergency team leader with save the children. in washington, david diggs, cofounder and director of beyond borders. david lived and worked in haiti for a decade, still visits there regularly. ending child slavery in haiti is a beyond borders priority. and here in l.a., aaron cohen, head of abolishslavery.org. he's the author of "slave hunter: one of man's global quest to free victims of human trafficking." how much, aaron, is going on -- how much of this is going on in haiti? >> you know, larry, it's an incredible phenomenon in haiti. they have a cultural norm of slavery that's leftover from -- >> larry: how's it work? >> well, there's -- essentially, it goes back to male privilege.
women have been debased to a level where they don't have the same social value as men, so they can't be there to protect their children. over 250,000 restavek slaves end up in domestic servitude. >> larry: where people are taken from their homes and made slaves in other places? >> what happens is, essentially, the poverty is such a problem that they end up leaving the rural areas for the cities to work as domestic servants. at that point, they become vulnerable -- you see, they have a law in haiti where if you're under the age of 15, you don't have to pay the child, but if you're over 15, you have to pay them. so what happens is, the children that are over 15 end up being kicked out and they become vulnerable to human trafficking. >> larry: david, why is this so rampant? >> i think the causes are complex. it's not just cultural, there are economic causes. there are political causes. and i think that part of it is the lure of the city. most of these children come from remote, poor villages in the countryside, where they don't have services, they don't have enough schools. only about half of haiti's
children have an opportunity to attend school and most don't graduate even from elementary schools. there are more schools in the cities and parents in the countryside often hope that if they send their child away to a family in the city, that their child will have a chance to get an education. so there is a huge need for investment in rural education, rural development, and in policies that support rural families. because it's largely a migration problem. there are tremendous forces drawing families and drawing children into the cities. and one remarkable opportunity with this earthquake, this tragedy is that the people being forced out into the countryside can revitalize these rural communities. so there's an opportunity to take advantage of this, if we stay with it, we invest in schools, we invest in rural communities. >> larry: annie, does the earthquake make the problem more
problemsome? >> well, yeah, larry. the kids are so vulnerable now. there were so many children right on the precipice before this earthquake happened in haiti, in terms of poverty and lack of access to so many resources. so this earthquake has really, really changed that for the worse. and as david said, i mean, what we need to do is work with families to ensure that they can have the resources to keep their kids with them. so that this trafficking does not become a risk. and save the children is working with kids, but as well as with their families, so they have the help and nutrition and livelihood opportunities, so a they're able to support their children and aren't tempted to give them up. >> larry: kent, what does unicef do about this? >> well, unicef, as i said, is extremely concerned about the children who are unaccompanied or separated from their parents, because these children are particularly vulnerable to pedophiles, they're vulnerable
to traffickers, they're vulnerable to exploitation, sexual violence, abuse, and so we are doing everything possible with our partners to find those children, get them into safe, protective areas, where they can have a sense of normalcy, where they won't be vulnerable, and get them back through a family tracing and reunification program where they can be brought back with their immediate or extended family and be in a safe environment. >> larry: we'll have more on the threat of child trafficking in haiti and what's being done to stop it when we come back. [ announcer ] if you think about it, this is a lot like most job search sites. - they let everyone in, - [ crowd groans ] so the best people can't stand out.
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larry: by the way, if you want to help abolishslavery.org, text freedom, 27538 and text in your donation. speaking of that, aaron, who's doing the trafficking in haiti? who are the traffickers? >> the traffickers are essentially organized crime groups. there's mafia and criminal syndicates that are making money -- >> larry: hatian mafia? >> hatian mafia and out of the dominican republic. plus, you know, in haiti, there's other international mafias that are coming in for the field day. all these children are vulnerable. so, there's -- >> larry: who's paying them? >> who's paying the traffickers? >> larry: yeah. >> well, these organized crime groups -- children are a commodity, just like drugs.
so what happens is, they come in and pay a wholesale price and those kids are transited to places like the bahamas or to the democratic republic of congo, into america or europe. >> larry: so they're slaves? >> that's correct. most of them end up in sex slavery. >> larry: david, what specifically does beyond borders do? >> larry, i'm going to tell you that, but let me correct something that aaron said. the vast majority of children who are sent into servitude are sent by their parents. they're not sold. i don't know of any hatian parents who sell their children. i'm sure that there are a few children who end up in the bahamas as sex slaves, but the vast majority of these children are internally trafficked, so what beyond borders is trying to do is reinforce the rural families, invest in sustainable agriculture, invest in schools. most of these rural parents send their children away to the cities out of desperation and out of false hope that they'll find a better life in the city. and so a lot of what we invest in is education programming through the radio, through adult education programs, adult
literacy, so that these parents understand the risks they're children face if sent to the cities. >> larry: annie, are there enough resources on the ground to safeguard children? >> well, there's more coming. and save the children is working hard to make that happen. you know, the thing is is that you have to take the wholistic approach, is what's been said. you can't just focus on the kids, although the kids need psychosocial support, they need a safe place, they need to feel normalcy again. but also the parents need help, so that they understand that there's health and nutrition and opportunities for livelihood, so that they feel that they can take care of their families and the families can stay together. that's the most important thing, larry. >> larry: kent, the problem seems, like, move humongous. it seems like overwhelming. do you ever get that feeling? >> no, i don't, larry. unicef and partners, everybody
is working, literally, around the clock to try and address this problem. we are pulling out all the stops. we're going to be here for the long term. there are a lot of things to be done. we're working in the areas of nutrition, water and sanitation, education, health, child protection. there's so much to be done, but people are doing everything possible and all the resources are being maximum maximized. >> larry: and you get a sense of good things happening? >> absolutely. i was, today, at one of the interim care shelters, where children who have been unaccompanied sore separated from their parents have been brought -- a boy that we brought just a couple of days ago, he was very subdued and sad, didn't want to talk too much. i saw him again this morning. he was happy, he told me he had new friends.
he was in an education activity. he was playing soccer in the field. he was getting some psychosocial activities. so there's hope. and we're not going to stop working until every hatian child is taken care of. >> larry: as we go to break, here's a look at one orphanage in haiti, the lighthouse orphanage, both before and after the earthquake. watch. ♪ a,b,c,d,e,f,g >> we started off with 12 boys in our orphanage. we're up to 54 kids right now. ♪ >> on the street, they just had to grow up so quickly, and now just seeing them at the orphanage, being kids and playing, it's so cool to see. i know that these kids, this generation is going to change haiti. maybe one person at a time. love changes people. it really does. >> i'm a hatian.
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you have choices. ask your doctor if symbicort is right for you. (announcer) if you cannot afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. >> larry: aaron cohen wanted to say david misunderstood. you deal with special groups, right? >> yeah. we weren't having a discussion about parents selling their children, we were talking about organized crime groups brokering them. >> larry: that's your area? >> yeah. gang task force investigations. gang task force investigations. >> larry: do you see progress? >> i see progress, yes. ambassador at the state
department is doing a magnificent job. what he's accomplished is marvelous. i see progress, but at the same time, slavery's the fastest growing illegal business in the world. it's already past drug sales and it's in position to pass -- excuse me, it's already passed arm sales and in position to pass drug sales. >> larry: and it's in every country? >> every country. >> larry: david diggs, do you see progress? >> i do. when i first went to haiti years ago, no one spoke about this problem. but there's growing awareness of the problem of children being sent away, and i think that one of the most encouraging things i've seen in the aftermath of this earthquake is that there's a monumental effort to begin registering these children. and if that's done right, that can be passed on to the hatian government, so that they can begin keeping track of their own children, their own vulnerable children. >> larry: yeah, is haiti --
annie, is haiti capable of keeping track of its own? >> well, we're working on that, larry. i was in ache, and the way that we have progressed since then is so amazing. we've got this database that we're sharing with the government, unicef, save the children, all these organizations working together, to track those kids, to track the most vulnerable kids, the kids that are most likely to be trafficked. the ones that are separated. we're reunifying them with their families as quickly as possible. in ache, because of the database, because of the networks, we were able to reunify over 90% of the children that were registered on our database. and we're looking to do the same thing here in haiti. but it is a long road ahead. there is a lot to be done here. >> larry: and kent, you remain optimistic, right? >> absolutely. i remain optimistic. let me give you three examples why. unicef is delivering now clean, life-saving water to over 500,000 people every day here in haiti immunization campaign, we're going to start on tuesday, an immunization campaign against the measles, diphtheria, and tetanus for over 500,000 children.
and education. since the earthquake, schools have been closed. we've learned that schools in unaffected areas will open on monday and unicef will be working on a program that i think we'd like to call an all-to-school program, to bring all children in haiti back to school. because we know that before the earthquake, not all children were in school. now we want to work that every child gets the right to an education. so, absolutely, i have hope. i have optimism. >> larry: by the way, you can go to our website and it will give you information on all the organizations mentioned here tonight and how you can help. and we thank our guests. many people are asking how they can adopt a child from haiti. we'll talk to experts to tell you what you need to know, right after this. at the men's store inside jcpenney and at jcp.com. style, quality and price matter. jcpenney.
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watkins, singer, songwriter, and actress working on a vh1 reality show with her tlc band, matte chile. and here in los angeles, marty caldwell, certified open adoption practitioner, founder and ceo of the lifetime adoption center. she herself is an adoptive mother. t-boz, we understand you want to adopt a child from haiti. why? >> well, i had thought about adopting a child anyway four years from now, but when i heard about the incident and kids possibly not having parents, i felt like i should try and help someone. and go ahead and adopt now. >> larry: have you begun the process? >> i have made calls and tried to reach out, but from my understanding, the person who processes the paperwork is missing and i haven't gotten very far. so hopefully being on the show
here today, i can probably get some information and see if i can help move things further along, if it's even possible at this point. >> larry: i'm sure you will. marty, can we adopt a child from haiti now? >> well, right now the country is officially closed. that means if you have not had the paperwork in process and going, basically, it is -- it's -- you're done. >> larry: it would seem they would be open to it. >> well, they are. but you have to realize, the country is still instable, and they're trying to stabilize that, and the country processes adoptions. so they first have to stabilize their country and then process adoptions. >> larry: so t-boz will have a tough time? >> she's going to have a tough time, but there are things she can do, larry, in the meantime. >> larry: like? >> she can start researching, as she's doing right now, adoptions. if she really wants to adopt from haiti, she may consider adopting an african-american child that's waiting in the united states and do so within a year, because there are many children that are basically orphaned, if you would say, in the united states, that are waiting for homes too. but haiti, we don't know when they're going to open up again. it's undisclosed and it could be years, but she can start -- >> larry: so it's easier to adopt a black american child than a hatian child. >> exactly. and it's actually less expensive and the children are waiting. >> larry: less expensive? >> yes, because you're not
traveling. >> larry: before the quake, was it easier? >> it was a little easier to adopt from haiti than it was from other countries. but right now with this happening, realistically, unless you had your paperwork going, you cannot adopt from haiti at this point. i don't want to give false hope. >> larry: t-boz, anything you want to ask marty? >> actually, what she said is what i've been hearing, and that's why i answered the question that way. like, if it's still possible. because every time i call someone, they say that it's been shut down, you can't do so. and then they offer, you know, ethiopian children or any other ethnic type of kids. and i just thought, you know, that i would be able to help someone who was in need right now, because of the devastating things that happened in haiti. but i keep hearing the same thing that she just said to you. >> and it's sad.
our hearts go out to people who want to adopt and want to help these children, but realistically, we can't go just on emotional -- this is a lifetime commitment. >> larry: let's take a call. salina, ohio. hello. >> caller: hello. hi, larry. thank you for having me on the show. >> larry: sure. >> caller: i would like to express some concern about, you know, when we're talking about long-term programs and everything, i think it's wonderful, i think it's amazing what the groups are doing already down there that have been down there for years, but my concern is in the next six months. you know, we're talking kind of a short-term/long-term process here, where the kids, there are not -- i know there are not enough places for these kids to go right now in haiti. and they're not all accounted for yet, but as they're being accounted for, couldn't there be a cooperative effort in the united states and other countries who are willing to accept these children into a type of fostering, a fostering program that may or may not go into adoption, but that these kids could be cared for, they could be educated, that they are not homeless, that they are nurtured.
>> larry: that sounds like a great idea. >> it does. and they are working on some type of format like that. >> larry: related to adoption. >> exactly. in florida, they're trying to develop a plan where the children could be taken care of, taken care of medically and psychologically. >> larry: t-boz, would you foster a child before you could adopt? >> yes, i would love to. i just want to help in some kind of way. if i could do that, i would love to. >> larry: all right. we're going to take a break. we're going to keep t-boz and marty with us. and we'll be joined by, when we come back with, michelle bond of the state department, dealing with overseas citizens and their involvement. and also, we'll meet the president of nights bridge international, a nonprofit dedicated to humanitarian assistance. right back. sir? finding everything okay? i work for a different insurance company. my auto policy's just getting a little too expensive. with progressive, you get the "name your price" option, so we build a policy to fit your budget. wow! the price gun. ♪ ah! wish we had this. we'd just tell people what to pay. yeah, we're the only ones that do. i love your insurance! bill? tom? hey! it's an office party! the freedom to name your price.
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>> larry: t-boz watkins and marty caldwell joins us. is the government supportive of haiti's decision, michelle, to put new adoptions on hold? >> yes, at this time in the immediate aftermath of this cataclysmic earthquake, haiti has decided that their first priority is to identify the children that have been separated from their families and work to locate those families and reunite the children with their families, rather than -- >> larry: any indication -- i'm sorry, go ahead. >> well, rather than focusing in
the first instance on thinking about sending the children away from the locations where family members would be searching for them. >> larry: any indication when haiti might start processing new adoption applications? >> no, not at this time. it's only a couple weeks now after the earthquake and they are not talking about that at all right now. they're focused on the immediate relief work. >> larry: what about adoption families where the paperwork was halfway along or three quarters of the way done? >> right. immediately after this incredibly devastating earthquake, one of the things that we did within the government was to think about what might be possible for children who were already in the process of being adopted by
american parents. and so officials at the departments of homeland security and state sat down and worked out an idea of how to identify children that could appropriately be brought to the united states, even though their hatian adoption wasn't complete. we proposed this plan to the hatian government. they agreed to it. and on january 18th, less than a week after the earthquake struck, secretary napolitano of homeland security announced that humanitarian parole would be available for children who met specific criteria. now 11 days after that, more than 500 of these children have already gone to the united states to join very happy families. >> larry: michelle, do you want t-boz to be able to adopt a hatian child. >> i think in the long-term, that could be a great thing, but michelle. michel. michele. michele.
there are things that could be done to assist the very, very poor. the poorest of haiti's families. and that's the poorest family in the western hemisphere. to be fed and clothed and cared for. if we can help them bring their kids home from organ najs and raise them ourselves, provide the support that they need, then you could move thousands of children into permanent homes with their own families. clrk thanks, michelle. joining us now in port-au-prince is president of nights bridge international providing disaster relief around the world. our cameras found you yesterday coming to the aid of an orphanage in need, what were you doing, etd ward? >> we were doing a survey and delivering aid and hope.
that's generally what we do. we immediately provide the hope and goods that they need. >> larry: do you at all deal with adoption? >> no, ours is health care, education, and livelihood. >> for children? >> for anybody in need. children or children are just one segment of it. they are the more emotional segment. but to be able to unite the family and from vid food is a key issue. >> we understand one of your comrades was lost in the rubble in the hotel montana. any news at all? >> none whatsoever. he's still listed as missing and the aftermath of the earthquake, walt, one of the members for the last eight to ten years, has gone missing at that location.
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>> larry: joining marty and t-boz from miami is dixie bickel, the director of god's little orphanage in haiti. last week 81 children from that orphanage arrived in miami to join their adoptive families. dixie, how are they doing? >> as far as i know, they're doing well. the ones we've heard from say the kids are adjusting very well with their families. we're really thankful that the haitian government decided back in july of last year that all parents had to travel to haiti to meet their children before the adoption could be finalized. so these children had -- at the time we didn't like it, but they had an opportunity to meet their families, and it was really a blessing. >> larry: any children left at your orphanage? >> i have 17 children who have families in france that have not left yet, and we're negotiating with the french government to get them out. and i've got three children that
came after the earthquake. >> larry: dixie, if you've been watching or listening to the show, what advice do you have for t-boz, who apparently now cannot adopt while there's this hold on in haiti, who wants to adopt? what advice do you have for her? >> i'm hoping haitian adoptions will start up again. but we're going to have to -- right now it's in chaos. the country is in chaos. and adoptions is the least important thing, i'm sure, in the haitian government mind. they're still trying to dig out. and it's going to take a long time. there are orphans in orphanages that were there before the earthquake that still will be for adoption. and she can contact different
orphanages to find out if they've got children. the children that i've got that have come in since the earthquake, we're calling them displaced children. they are not orphans until it's proven that they are orphans. so our top priority is to get photos of the children, take them to the haitian social services, to the hospitals, and ask for the parents. we figure that's where the parents are going to look first. >> larry: marty, is there any -- do you ever deal with dixie? >> i haven't worked with dixie, no. i think she's right, though, that do the research ahead of time, fiend out, so one does open up the people that want to adopt, have the paperwork they've got a foot in it. >> larry: is there hope for t bods?
>> i think there is. i think if she does her homework and she wants to truly adopt it may truly happen. but i think it may take a few years. >> larry: t boz, i've got an idea. dixie, are you going back to haiti? >> i leave tomorrow, thank heavens. and i'm staying. i don't have to come out again for a while. >> larry: t-boz, my idea, this is just off the top, contact dixie bickel at the god's little angels orphanage in haiti. call her and see what she might be able to do for you, t-boz. and maybe we can work something out here. >> thank you. i will try. i'm not going to give up. >> larry: you can go on a waiting list. what were you going to say, dixie? >> i was going to tell her she needs to get a home study done. she needs to start some of the paperwork that takes six months in the states to do so that when adoptions do open up she's ready. >> exactly. >> larry: we wish you all the best of luck. salute you, marty, for what you do. dixie, thanks for everything. and good luck, t-boz. we'll try. >> thank you. >> larry: t-boz watkins, marty caldwell, and dixie bickel. and that's it for this edition of "larry king live." we hope we've provided you with